Content marketing is one of the biggest success stories in the global marketing industry. Everyday, thousands of pieces of content are published, all professionally planned, commissioned and measured to give brands a powerful way to reach their customers. This builds a fantastic level of loyalty, gaining sales along the way.

Moreover we also seem to have entered the era that Bill Gates wrote about in an article back in 1996. Reading the article, it makes Bill look like he's a psychic. In a nutshell, he said: Content is where I expect much of the real money will be made on the Internet, just as it was in broadcasting.

content-marketing-objections

Case Study: Kodak, An American Technology Company Focused On Imaging Solutions And Services

Previously, it was the media who created content based on Kodak products: Photography magazines, CNET.com and other technology blogs. Today, Kodak creates its own content, which is very similar in nature.

  • Kodak, along with 1000s of other businesses is now maintaining corporate blogs.

Why?

Because what formerly was the sole bastion of the media, is now also a company bailiwick! Content marketing now matters pre-purchase, while purchasing, and post-purchase (basically, always!):

  1. A consumer using Google to research new laptops, what, according to you, is going to get them to a Dell site?
    - Valuable content that's optimized for that.
  2. When the consumer wants to compare one laptop to another, what is going to help them do that?
    - Valuable content that's optimized for that.
  3. Consider a customer who wishes to be in the loop when it comes to new products from the company or brand, what's going to transform them from a customer into a loyal fan?
    - Valuable content that's optimized for that.

So What Is Content Marketing?

Content marketing is the strategy of producing and publishing information that builds trust, relationships and community, so people feel loyal to you and your brand. There are many reasons why the world's leading brands use content marketing.

  1. Content marketing increases sales
    In its authentic form, content marketing serves as a controlled shop window for companies to sell their products and/or services to customers.
  2. It retains customers
    Every year, retail and service businesses face stiffer competition. Companies therefore place a high premium on the importance of retaining their existing customers. By offering both entertainment and information, content marketing rewards the customer by keeping them updated on new products or services.
  3. Building your brand
    For any company wishing to build their brand, they need a method of communication that gets their message across. Good content on websites, emails and print products provides you with the ideal opportunity to alter how people perceive your brand.
  4. Integration
    The core aspect of modern content marketing is the generation and distribution of content across the key marketing mediums – print, digital, mobile and social media.
  5. Engage customers long term
    Using regular communication with your customer base, you can gradually build a bond with your readers, increasing their trust and making your product and/or service their first choice.

But Your Executive Team Is Not Sold On The Idea!

Making the case for up-and-coming digital marketing tactics like content marketing has been a challenge for marketers for quite some time now. But as many marketers already know, content marketing is here to stay. So you need to, somehow, sell your executive team on the idea that, in order to compete and grow, your company must adopt a content marketing strategy.

The Objections

1. The ROI Can't be Proven.

If your company has never had a content marketing strategy before, there won't be any numbers to support the ROI until both time and resources are spent on proper execution.

So you need to make up for your lack of numbers by explaining how content marketing can benefit the business once its put in motion. For example, content marketing can increase website traffic. It can also walk your audience through the purchasing experience and increase the effectiveness of sales calls.

2. We Don't Want More Responsibility.

Asking the executives to take part in content creation, even if it's just about lending their names to the process, can be seen as increasing their workload. This is a direct threat.

Counter this by demonstrating that, in order to be effective, content needs to be backed by the names of the executives behind it for the content to seem credible. Explain to them that through leadership articles, the company can gain exposure, creating a positive buzz about the company and the executive.

3. Content Marketing is a Passing Fad.

Every other week, some new approach is touted as the greatest marketing tactic since sliced bread. So it's easy to ignore trends, especially when some of the original pillars of marketing are working for your brand. But content marketing is not just a passing fad. It is, in essence, an essential element of the buyer journey and has real business value.

As a marketer, you need to explain this to your company's high-level executives. According to Google's Zero Moment of Truth, consumers digest over 10 pieces of online information before making a purchasing decision.

4. This isn't Going to Solve Anything Real.

High-level company executives rarely see much value in content marketing beyond click-through rates and SEO. As the person pushing this initiative, it's your job to understand what issues your company is facing right now and how content marketing can provide solutions.

For a moment, let's say that your company website is getting decent traffic but your visitors are not converting into buying customers. A lack of valuable information could be the reason. Try walking your boss through how content marketing could fill that gap.

Basically…

Most objections to content marketing stem from a lack of understanding. By providing education on how content marketing can be leveraged alongside sales and marketing tactics, you can convince your executives of the power of content marketing.

What About The Challenges Of Content Marketing?

Content marketing is an easy sell. That probably explains why the digital landscape is brimming with corporate blogs that offer nothing of value. Often, a company will dive into a marketing trend simply for its buzz but successful content marketing is contingent upon understanding the roadblocks you'll face and knowing how to avoid them from the beginning.

1. Generating Original Content

If you want to keep your content creation in-house, you need to implement processes that minimize the burden of creating content. Create a process that makes it easier for employees to share their expertise.

2. Creating a Content Strategy that Ties Everything Together

Often brands lack a comprehensive content strategy. The truth is: If all the pieces of your content marketing strategy are not working together to accomplish your business goals, you are not going to experience the full value of content marketing.

3. Internal v/s External Content Creation

For some companies, it's wise to keep content creation in-house. For others, it may seem like a no-brainer to hire externally. Producing content internally has certain drawbacks. For example, you are not the best at everything, too often, we forget the value of our time and attention and sometimes, it's more valuable to pay somebody to make sure things get done.

We hope that it's now going to be easier for fellow marketers to convince whoever is objecting the content marketing idea. Don't forget to push the Bill Gates article too!

Any thoughts? Or maybe something I missed? Let me know in the comments section below!

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Sameer Panjwani

This guest article has been written by Sameer Panjwani, founder of Directory Maximizer. If you are struggling to find quality web directories and submit your site to each of them on your own, it is worth trying their submission service to save a lot of time.

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